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MIT builds modular robots that self-assemble, dooms humanity (video)


Modular robots have long been a reality, but they often require human intervention to assemble or aren't very clever. MIT's new M-Block robots don't need such help. Each cube-shaped machine includes a flywheel and edge magnets, the combination of which lets it attach to its fellow robots simply by spinning into place; the devices can climb over each other and even jump into position. It's a wonderfully simple solution, although we're a bit frightened by MIT's long-term plans. Researchers are writing algorithms that would let M-Blocks act in concert, and swarms of robots could eventually have a Terminator 2-like ability to assume any shape needed to solve a given problem. If the Robopocalypse starts with a flood of colorful cubes, we'll know who to blame.

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